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For Fannies own family history is fraught with tragedy, hidden behind the closed rooms in her ornate Uptown mansion. It will take Ibbys arrival to begin to unlock the mysteries there. And it will take Queenie and Dollbabys hard-won wisdom to show Ibby that family can sometimes be found in the least expected places When Ibby Bells father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her fathers urn for good measure. Fannies New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever beenand Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylumis like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannies black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South, both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets